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Mike M
06-17-2007, 06:15 PM
It's Sunday and I'm bored. So if I wasn't confused enough trying to decide on best splices for various applications, I now am looking at the Buchanan crimp with locking cap, which you fill with a sealant, as opposed to grease. The Buchanan crimper has four points for a strong, even connection.

These are on the idealindustries.com website, as well as a heat tube splice that comes with the connector. I also like the ideal heat gun.

But I'm thinking of going with the cast tin coat and solder. So ignore me while I find even more options on a topic I thought was exhaustible.

Mike

NightScenes
06-17-2007, 06:41 PM
Mike, I have gone to the buchanan crimp because it is the probably the best all-around connection. I don't use the cap though. I put the connection into a DBR. This is a grease filled cap that closes on the back side to seal it and provide strain relief.

Just for general information, the buchanan crimp is the only connection permitted by the NEC for joining copper and aluminum wires. The connection is so tight that it does not even allow air to get between the strands of wire.

Mike M
06-17-2007, 07:00 PM
This is a grease filled cap that closes on the back side to seal it and provide strain relief.

Paul, can you specify which grease tube, or attach an image? I'm using grease tubes, but the connection doesn't lock into the end and can be pulled out.

Thanks,

Mike

NightScenes
06-17-2007, 07:13 PM
Here is a pic of the small size that I just pulled off of the web. It's made by Dryconn.

Pro-Scapes
06-17-2007, 07:45 PM
Thoes are similar to the ones Im using. I solder then insert into the tubes tho I dont use a crimp unless its unsafe to take my solder pot in a tight area or its a repair of someone elses work.

When I use the grease tubes I move the wires around in em a bit to coat em good before sealing them shut.


Im going to get some of thoes ace connectors for tree lights I think tho.

Mike M
06-17-2007, 09:51 PM
Billy, that's what I have. But I wonder if I should crimp again above the splice one or two inches to keep the splice from sliding back out of the silicone. Does Cast still recommend silicone twist-ons to cover, or the grease tubes?

Paul, is there a way your crimp can slide back out if the wires are pulled a little, or does it stay well inside the DBR?

And what about sealing? That's my real concern. There is an opening on both sides where the wires go in; nothing is actually sealed off? When I test my splice, the crimp is strong, but it slides up to the top of the grease tube.

:hammerhead: ;)

Chris J
06-17-2007, 10:45 PM
It's Sunday and I'm bored. So if I wasn't confused enough trying to decide on best splices for various applications, I now am looking at the Buchanan crimp with locking cap, which you fill with a sealant, as opposed to grease. The Buchanan crimper has four points for a strong, even connection.

These are on the idealindustries.com website, as well as a heat tube splice that comes with the connector. I also like the ideal heat gun.

But I'm thinking of going with the cast tin coat and solder. So ignore me while I find even more options on a topic I thought was exhaustible.

Mike

Mike M, or anybody who cares to answer:
That plastic cap on the bucannan, is that the part that screws down? I know I could probably go online and research this, but it would be helpful if someone could post some pictures of the assembly of these things.
Billy, I used to date a girl that had a toy like this! Do you think she may have been a spy trying to sabotage or gather info on my business? :eek:

Chris J
06-17-2007, 10:49 PM
Mike M, or anybody who cares to answer:
That plastic cap on the bucannan, is that the part that screws down? I know I could probably go online and research this, but it would be helpful if someone could post some pictures of the assembly of these things.
Billy, I used to date a girl that had a toy like this! Do you think she may have been a spy trying to sabotage or gather info on my business? :eek:

Let me now say this prayer:
Dear Lord, I know I have just set myself up big-time. Please don't allow these guys to see the opportunity to really give me a hard time about my last post. I promise to be a better husband if you just let this slide.......well, maybe I can stand a little ribbing:laugh:

Pro-Scapes
06-17-2007, 11:12 PM
Mike... The wires come out on both sides and if you conigure the wires properly or shut the door on it right it should have tension enough to hold the wires in. Rememeber Im not using these at the fixtures but at the hubs with multiple wires. Im not using alot of Spider splices any more... Thy are kinda a tight fit and I dont like burying 10 to 20 ft of wire at the base of it. I use mostly small irrigation valve boxes... nice and easy to work with and you can leave plenty of wire inside for future work. Where looks count and somethings gotta be dressy I still use the spiders. I still wish Cast would make one about an inch bigger...Maybe the black widow splice ? :laugh:

Cast still recommends soldering then the dryconn wire nuts. Its a good connection. I feel the grease tubes "seal" up a bit better than the drycons alone do and prevent wicking a bit more but if you use the drycons alone with soldering I dont see a problem as long as your soldered joint is not to long (or your twist joint)

Chris J... Funny you said that. I think I recall my wife saying something like... he do you know what thoes look like?:laugh:

NightScenes
06-17-2007, 11:15 PM
Hey Chris, is that photo actual size?

NightScenes
06-17-2007, 11:21 PM
Mike, the clip on the end works as a strain relief and keeps the crimp from slipping out. Also, the ones that I use are about 2" long which allows the crimp to be placed deep in the grease. All of this is placed in an irrigation control valve box.

Pro-Scapes
06-17-2007, 11:23 PM
Paul are you using hubs any now ? I know you always used T's and such in the past. I see im not the only one using the irrigation boxes. They are just slick unless you hit rock shallow

NightScenes
06-17-2007, 11:26 PM
I use hubs mostly but also use t's and loops if need be.

Chris J
06-17-2007, 11:34 PM
Hey Chris, is that photo actual size?

Relative to what I have to offer, the grease tubes are much larger.
Again, it was a girlfriend that had this toy. I have convinced my wife that 4" is actually 10". What she don't know won't hurt her (literally) and it gives her some great conversation at the lunch table at her work. (gotta get her out of that job soon)

klkanders
06-17-2007, 11:36 PM
Paul,
Sorry I missed your call-back. Business has been good and been solely doing lighting for the past week and probably next couple weeks! :)
Are you adding wire to your fixtures or have you depleated your stock of short lead fixtures?

klkanders
06-17-2007, 11:39 PM
Chris J funny stuff! Did your lock up all your tape measures, rulers and yard sticks in your truck then. :)

Chris J
06-17-2007, 11:54 PM
Nope, she's a blonde. Wouldn't know a tape measure if it hit her it the head.
Really pretty though! How else do you think I could get that georgeous woman to marry me..... I did tell her that there was a relation to Johnson & Johnson and I was the last living heir..... Na, she married me for my charm.
:dizzy:

Pro-Scapes
06-18-2007, 08:27 AM
I think Chris was into the adult beverages last night. Starting to plan our cabana area in my head then came across a gas powered blender in the northern tool book. Looks like I am going to have to whip him up something and see what other kinds of wisdom he can come up wiht :)

Mike M
06-18-2007, 09:03 AM
Check out this new thing from DryConn. Note the cable ties to hold the wire. I requested a sample, plus a sample of the DBSR.

NightScenes
06-18-2007, 09:30 AM
Keith, I do add wire to my fixtures, but am considering the costs of getting the fixtures with the leads and hub.

NiteTymeIlluminations
06-18-2007, 10:26 AM
Paul,

why would you order the fixtures with wire? I guess there are 2 points of view...you are saving by not having to use 2 extra wire connectors but the fixture...but if you only use 16 feet to get to the hub or t, you are wasting 9 feet of wire...and where you going to use it...oh on another...then you are back to the 2 wire connectors...spend some time figuring the kichler numbers too...its much more economical to buy the hub and leads in a pack and adding the lead to your fixture rather than buying the fixture with the lead...

I used the kichler hub in jamaica for a demo and wow its very nice for a demo but if I did installs I doubt if I'd use it for premanent installs...just my 2 cents on that

NightScenes
06-18-2007, 02:06 PM
Doug, I was just making the calculations and there is no way that I would order with leads. Actually, the whole pre-make thing is way too much. It's far more economical for me to put on the leads as I need them.

NiteTymeIlluminations
06-18-2007, 04:15 PM
correctamundo...kichler screwed that up big time, huh? they should have made it at least close in price then people would buy them

Mike M
06-18-2007, 04:20 PM
I got an lv hub to try for my own installation at my house and I was nervous putting it under the ground. It was also a bit expensive.

Question: why does Kichler give us pierce-point connectors for landscape lights? Are they rated for direct burrial? They make me nervous, but I don't want to throw them out. Is there anything else we could do with them?

Maybe I could make little model cars and use them for wheels.

Mike

NiteTymeIlluminations
06-18-2007, 05:25 PM
don't use them...bundle them 6 or 12 to a bag and sel them on email for $1.00 or 2 a piece...you'll make a killin...they are chnaging to connectors next year though...if the grapevine is correct

Pro-Scapes
06-18-2007, 06:08 PM
I agree thoes quik disc things are useless. Thats like malibu grade in my opinion. I cant see paying Kichlers price for added leads and thoes silly junction plugs. If your going to hub... have 2 connections... 1 on voltage 1 on common... not connect common and voltage to some plastic frisbee... then plug all the lights in ... too many places for failure.

Most the time I get lights with leads pre attached. Most have been fine except for the focus ones that were put on by a blind dyslexic monkey with plain blue butt crimps like you find at autozone. No sealant or shrink booting. Unacceptable. I will use thier BBQ lights and perhaps well lights but thats about it.

Come to think of it I do have a pile of 16ga cut off's :hammerhead: My main dist will add 25ft leads to any light for 9 bucks. I just assume add my own when needed. It is nice to know they will do it tho and they do it right with sealant filled shrink boot and solid inline crimps.

Much better than Fo Fo Fo Focass

Mike M
06-20-2007, 08:59 AM
Anyone use these? Or ever seen a failure with one? Seems like a nice way to add a fixture to a wire without using a hub.

Just doing my homework. This thread will be a good resource for connections.

Mike

Mike M
06-20-2007, 09:16 AM
No sealant or shrink booting.

I'm probably not putting in wells any time soon, or maybe ever again, after seeing Chris refer to them as "sewer pipes," (LOL) also, why does it seem to me that the Kichler PAR 36 wells are not connected well? I examined mine yesterday, only to find the shrink-tube slipped back, copper strands exposed (and already darkening), with no sign of sealants. Why is the connection exposed? The design is completely open, so there is no protection.

Is there something I need to know about retro-sealing my out-of-the-box fixtures? I have ideal butt crimps and shrink tubing, but what do I use for sealant?

Mike M

Pro-Scapes
06-20-2007, 09:32 AM
The better shrink booting comes with sealant inside it. You will notice a slight "ooze" when you shrink it.

Yes the par connections blow goats. He reffered to them as sewer pipes because they are basically just a pvc sewage pipe with a rind and bulb inside and sometimes a lens on them.

Some are built much better than others. We used Mr16 wells on a job with another contractor and they seemed well built. Had to use them for uplighting trees in a turf area. They do have thier place but keep in mind there is 3 hotspots in the turf around this tree.

David Gretzmier
06-20-2007, 10:48 AM
Funny how long irrigation contractors have been using wells or valve boxes for thier electrical connections- low voltage- along with the valves in there. I've seen systems that were well over 30,40,50? years old, and what is the connections they used that still work fine? - grease wire nuts. when put in an area that is protected from foot traffic, they have worked for decades.

I'm not against all these new connections, I'm all for it, but why not use technology that has stood the test of time, If you do it properly? the reason alot of connections in landscape lighting fail is not the initial connection. It is the resulting foot traffic of trimming, weeding, planting, etc, that jars it loose and then corrodes the wire. also, we want the convienience of putting a connection any where and not having to dig out a box area for the connection. a spider splice in a step proof box with lid with grease wire nuts will probably beat any connection under mulch once you step on that connection 30 or 40 times. just my opinion.

ok, now you can throw darts at me.

Pro-Scapes
06-20-2007, 06:24 PM
95% of our connections go in boxes or other protected areas. Repairs or 1 fixture conections may not always tho. Not only for the reason you stated but for the ease of finding them later if we need to service it or add a fixture.

Chris J
06-20-2007, 06:42 PM
Funny how long irrigation contractors have been using wells or valve boxes for thier electrical connections- low voltage- along with the valves in there. I've seen systems that were well over 30,40,50? years old, and what is the connections they used that still work fine? - grease wire nuts. when put in an area that is protected from foot traffic, they have worked for decades.

I'm not against all these new connections, I'm all for it, but why not use technology that has stood the test of time, If you do it properly? the reason alot of connections in landscape lighting fail is not the initial connection. It is the resulting foot traffic of trimming, weeding, planting, etc, that jars it loose and then corrodes the wire. also, we want the convienience of putting a connection any where and not having to dig out a box area for the connection. a spider splice in a step proof box with lid with grease wire nuts will probably beat any connection under mulch once you step on that connection 30 or 40 times. just my opinion.

ok, now you can throw darts at me.

No complaints from me. I find these connections very secure, and I haven't had a problem with any of them since I started using them. I do use the Ace connectors for tree lights and also when splicing in to add a fixture, but other than that, I find them both economical and sound. However, with all the fuss about it, I do intend on going back to my first installation that I ever used these connectors on to inspect the wire. It is about 4 years old now, and it will prove to be the final answer to my question to this whole controversy. I will be sure to post the results when I make my discovery. By the way, the installation in question is on the Florida marsh which is right on the ocean in very acidic soil. If these connectors are going to be failures at all, this would be the place that they would eventually fail. Ironically, this will be the perfect site for my testing.

Mike M
06-20-2007, 07:42 PM
why not use technology that has stood the test of time, If you do it properly

Very well said. I like using the brown-colored irrigation valve boxes for that very reason. And they are mass-produced and readily available. They look awesome and are very practical. But I don't like twist-ons, I like the strength and simplicity of the Buchanan crimps.

Now, what I'm really honing in on is the add-an-extra-light-here splice. Irrigation guys never have that problem. Pierce points like the ones I see by KIM have me hopeful, but only if a lighting guy endorses them. Otherwise, I'll be getting the ACE connectors with heat-shrink for in-line splices on trees, and for adding on additional lights. Today I contemplated putting in a hub for two stake lights at a small tree, but not much room (aesthetically) for a big valve box. I went with four big goofy grease tubes and had to hide them under mulch before I come back to aim them, in fear of my customer will think they are sex toys, wired and ready for use. :laugh: After I set the lights, I'll bury them.

I can't wait for Chris's marsh-connector data to come in.

Mike

Chris J
06-20-2007, 07:55 PM
Mike M.
Don't get too carried away with the hub/spider splice, loop, lollipop or even T methods. Each method has it's own value, but when it comes to just two lights on one tree you can simply daisy chain these as long as they are not more than about 25' apart. Your voltage difference between the two fixtures is not going to be more than 2/10ths of a volt which will be practically impossible for the human eye to detect in appearance. If you add a fixture to this tree later on, just go back to the first fixture on the run (the one closest to the transformer) and create a T and run more wire from there. There is no need to add the extra expense and hassle to create a spider splice or hub for just two fixtures.

Mike M
06-20-2007, 08:25 PM
There is no need to add the extra expense and hassle to create a spider splice or hub for just two fixtures.

Yup. That's why I'm wondering about those KIM connectors, or maybe just go with the ACE jobbers. Imagine a nice clean splice without lighting up a torch or plugging in a gun. But only if it's reliable.

Hey, this is, after all, my endless rambling about splices available to us. I have nothing better to do, I got rained out today and no school for a few more weeks (year round). You will all be very happy when I'm back to the classroom (countdown to full-time business/zero-time teaching:hammerhead: : 345 days).

Pro-Scapes
06-20-2007, 08:42 PM
I guess if we all did it the same we would all be olp franchiesses.

Good to hear how others do it tho too. I still like soldering and grease tubes or drycons. I dont leave the test leads like cast recomends tho. I dont check at the hub I check at the lamp under load using thier handy dandy mr 16 test toy.

Chris J
06-20-2007, 09:29 PM
There are others who seem to know what they are talking about, yet they condon the use of pierce point connectors. I say this: use them and you will pay dearly in time and effort to replace them and/or destroy your wiring. These connectors do not prevent moisture from entering the wire and wicking up into it. Years ago, I was convinced that the pierce point connector was the best thing since sliced bread, and I scoffed at those who said otherwise. Now, I'm the one who sometimes gets scoffed at but when it happens I simply smile and say: You'll see. Save yourself a lot of time and money. Listen to those of us who have been down this very beaten path. Forget about pierce point connectors no matter who makes them!

Mike M
06-20-2007, 09:34 PM
handy dandy mr 16 test toy.

Yeah, I meant to order that. I have been messing with my clumsy probes at the lamps. I wondered if anybody actually ties on a pig tail type wire with a cap just to check voltage at the hub. If there was a homerun failure, all the lamps would be out.

Mike

Mike M
06-20-2007, 09:45 PM
Forget about pierce point connectors no matter who makes them!

Okay. Pierce point no good. Check. It's now been officially eliminated.

So what about the new gel-based splices? Have you seen those? Scroll up, I have an image.

Gel's seem a little more stable than grease. Kinda like a cross between a sealant and grease. Nothing wrong with new uses of space-age polymers, is there?

Mike

Chris J
06-20-2007, 10:11 PM
Are you talking about the gel that comes out of the shrink tubes (like with the ace connectors)? If so, I am a believer in these. I think the ace is the best thing going as far as connections go, even though I don't use them exclusively on all connections. I scrolled up, but the image I saw looked like any old pierce point connector. Did I not look hard enough? Or is there something about this thing that I don't know?

Pro-Scapes
06-20-2007, 10:18 PM
Mike... guys are telling you thier tried and trued method. You seem to be looking for an easier... better way to splice wires. Use a tried and true method.

Not many guys use our method (solder bath). I dont see how everyone claims its so time consuming. Its faster than an ace connector by the time you tighten down the lugs and shrink boot it... it achieves an inseperatable connection and there is no connectors to buy.. only the grease tubes.

I do like some of the others guys methods too. Not crazy about just a crimp tho.

I think Focass has showed us the worlds worst splice...Cast has shown us a very good splice...and alot of others also have shown us a good splice too... Alot of the ones talked about here are the best. Find one your comfy with but also rememeber that one certain way wont work in every situation.

One thing that gets me is guys talk about soldering taking long and it costing money in labor. for 1 its near fool proof... for 2 once you buy the initial solder set up the cost to make a connection is reduced to pennies per joint (not including the protective tubes..... I think each splice (not hub) is costing me less than the price of a dryconn and a third of that of an ace connector.

Mike M
06-20-2007, 10:27 PM
Chris: DryConn, page two of this thread. It's gel-based. Big ugly guy used for splicing. Kinda funny, but the gel medium is interesting. Looks like a goo filled George Foreman grill (below).

Mike

You musta got rained out today, too, in Northern FL. Must be really bored to be following my endless splice thread.

Chris J
06-20-2007, 10:49 PM
OH, Now I see what your talking about. Never saw it before, and obviously never tried it, so I can't comment on it's integrity. Looks substantial though, as long as the filler is thick enough to stay in the compartment. Any idea on cost per unit? And yes, the freakin rain won't stop! Been grounded for the last few days now, but I've been trying to sneek out here and there to get some things done with the trusty umbrella.


Billy, I'm still intrigued by your soldering technique but couple of questions: You use the hub method right? so only one solder per 5 or 6 fixtures? or do you solder every fixture? Also, did I read earlier that soldering requires the use of the tin coated wire only, or can you use this method with standard copper cable?
By the way, no adjustments tomorrow night so the drinks will be flowin! Hold on tight cause it might get rough! I'll go ahead and appologize for my statements now... I'm sorry dude, I didn't mean to say that.

FThera
06-20-2007, 11:06 PM
Who makes the good shrink tube, with sealant in it?

Mark B
06-20-2007, 11:26 PM
You guys kill me. I did not read the whole thread since it was waaay to much readin with a slight buzzzz. But I have used the regular red wire nuts to make a connection that has lasted over 3 yrs now. Please explain that you act like you are sending a rocket to mars then when you cut a wire to add a fixture the wire has already turned like old exposed copper wire.

Chris J
06-20-2007, 11:41 PM
Smoke another joint, and go back to bed...............sleepyhead.

Mark B
06-20-2007, 11:58 PM
Not smokin a joint. Some of you guys act like you are sending a rocket to mars. I will be tryin the crimps this week. I"m up for somin new to try.

Mike M
06-21-2007, 08:33 AM
Billy: I'm just compiling a nice splice thread, since I have run out of reasonable things to do with my time.

I foresee myself going with two main fixture lines & two connection methods. I want that kit from Watson irrigation to use with Cast and the no-ox wires, etc., plus I like the Kichler AZT line & specialty lights.

I'll most likely go with Ace connectors or crimp/dbsr in addition to soldering.
Or heck, maybe all three.

At the moment, I'm using silicone twist-ons, with the greese tubes for extra security. I don't have the right crimper (four point) yet. I'm impressed by the gass-tight, stronger-than-wire connection they claim you can get using the Buchanan crimps. This is similar to soldering, except you don't get the tin-coat protection near the connection. For the crimps, I'm just trying to find a reliable containment to keep out soil/moisture and keep the splice in it's place (mine don't have enough tension, and I have two sizes).

For business reasons, I want to cut back on UPS expenses and manufacturing development expenses, by bulking up a little on popular, simple, reliable fixtures. Looks like Kichler AZT & Cast. In my garage: a spool of tin-coat and one without. I bring my solder, or I bring a bag of crimps. I use Ace connections for in-lines and trees, and I repair or connect fixtures with butt crimps and heat shrink.

I can offer two packages for each proposal, and provide them with enough information to make their own decision. If they are near the salt water, I'll tell them I'll only do the bronze w/marine-grade wire.

Oh, and I was happy to discover regarding soldering, the insulated ceramic pots only need to be plugged in and heated once before doing a few hubs around the property.

Mike

NiteTymeIlluminations
06-21-2007, 08:41 AM
Careful with that Cast floating socket...sooner or later those wires are going to come out of the back of the socket...and you'll be changing them to fixtures with a fixed socket...

Mike M
06-21-2007, 08:54 AM
Chris, from a marketing perspective, you may want to compete with the landscapers down there by combining your experience and large client base with a solder method. Theoretically, with the cast method, you only have to solder at the hubs, plus, as I mentioned, you may only have to plug in and heat the pot once for smaller jobs.

Any lawn or landscape guy can go to an irrigation distributor and order Kichler or Vista and use twist-ons. Show your prospects the corroded aluminum fixtures you've picked up (like the path lights you showed us).

I did the math on an all-Kichler set up vs. an all-Cast set up (including tin coat wire) and the price difference was much smaller than I thought it would be. I would think most customers would see your price as a better value for longevity. Not to mention all your design experience.

Most customers won't know what Buchanan crimps or Ace connectors are, but they all know solder.

Just my thoughts. I've been thoughting a lot lately. As this thread is a testimony to that. Thank God for you guys, I have to report to jury duty this morning.

Mike

Mike M
06-21-2007, 09:00 AM
Careful with that Cast floating socket...

I think the floating socket may be a good idea for tidal areas.

Mike

Doug: I need your e-mail address. Your business contact e-mail isn't working for me. Thanks!

Pro-Scapes
06-21-2007, 11:26 AM
Billy, I'm still intrigued by your soldering technique but couple of questions: You use the hub method right? so only one solder per 5 or 6 fixtures? or do you solder every fixture? Also, did I read earlier that soldering requires the use of the tin coated wire only, or can you use this method with standard copper cable?
By the way, no adjustments tomorrow night so the drinks will be flowin! Hold on tight cause it might get rough! I'll go ahead and appologize for my statements now... I'm sorry dude, I didn't mean to say that.

5 6 7 lights... stay under your lead wires rated capacity...I primarily use the hub... sometimes a small t or a 2 fixture daisy chain

Yes so basically 1 connection (well 2 you got common and voltage) per every 4-7 lights. I generally use lights with leads attached. On some installs where I used the kichler 15443 paths I took a soldering gun and some 3m shrink wrap at home sitting at my bench and added leads. FOLD will add leads to any light for a few bucks as well.

I got a pm from someone thinking I drag an extension cord and soldering iron to each hub. I have a solder pot.. I plug it in about 20 min from when I wanna solder. I go strip and twist all my wires up. I grab the solder pot..dunk all the splices in flux... dunk em in solder and then blow on em til it sets (3 seconds). I omited the water cooling cast recomends as I dont want to introduce moisture. then I color code (forget the little number pads) all my hubs and in the trans with colored tape and I use a sharpie to mark the bottoms of the lids of the valve boxes as well. Stuck the wires in the grease tubes... coil the wire up neatly in the box keeping the grease tubes near the top and out of any possible standing water. I can solder about 5 hubs before I need to reheat if you do them quickly.

Copper wire...You can solder copper wire... you can mix copper and tin... you can solder just tin. Tricks I have found to soldering copper since its not as easy as tin wire... Get that solder pot as hot as it will go and make sure you swish around in the liquid flux pretty good. then make 2 dunks in the solder pot... (sizzle sizzle) just make sure you keep the wire jackets out of the solder. Cheap connection... rock solid and it impresses clients, especially thoes who have a system and have had issues with it.

Who makes the good shrink tube, with sealant in it?

3m


I think this is where Mike M asks me for pictures of doing it.
BTW nice forman grill Mike.

Pro-Scapes
06-21-2007, 11:29 AM
Careful with that Cast floating socket...sooner or later those wires are going to come out of the back of the socket...and you'll be changing them to fixtures with a fixed socket...

That tends to be from guys yanking on the sockets from what I heard... its really important to hold the socket firmly when removing or installing a bulb. With that said I am becoming more and more fond of fixed sockets.

Mike M
06-21-2007, 07:35 PM
I think this is where Mike M asks me for pictures

Mere photo's could not do justice to your literary prose describing your color coded wire labeling, sharpie markering, the depiction of the whole tin-coat tin-coat, tin-coat copper, copper copper debunkle, nor could an mpeg file match the mental images we have of a guy running around the property with his pot of solder trying to get at all the splices before it has to be heated again.

Mike M.

Pro-Scapes
06-21-2007, 11:53 PM
whats the big deal if I gotta plug in and reheat. Not like there isnt something else I can do while it heats. I dont have to sit there and watch the freakin solder melt. and I PROMISE you I wont be going back for a failed hub splice!

I think at AOLP this year we need to have the splicing olympics. I challenge mike... Our soldering vs his forman grill thingys

A note on the floating sockets. We just came back from service and adjust on a system we put in last august. In bullets near the walkway I had to stack frosted lenses and louvers to soften the light on some white pillars and reduce glare. GRRR try and get the bulb out of that! Good thing I had a small pick on me. I had to pry the bulb up out of the housing... bulb swap took 5 min... unacceptable. I think its the heatshield that gets hung up in there.

Mike & Lucia
06-21-2007, 11:59 PM
Billy and Mike M - you guys are a riot! Mike, after reading your recap of Billy running around, I laughed my ass off. I'm sitting here all alone, holding my side! And Billy, the splicing Olympics! Dudes, I want front row seats.

Mike :laugh:

High Performance Lighting
06-22-2007, 12:19 AM
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High Performance Lighting
06-22-2007, 12:26 AM
dgjrfktyiltuioltui9l8uo9l;8

Pro-Scapes
06-22-2007, 08:48 AM
looks like im not the only one with colored tape and clean hubs huh... Notice the sealant oozing from the shrink wrap.

Excellent work Mike... Kudos!

I am going out to a job today and will pop a pic of ours.

Mike M
06-22-2007, 08:55 AM
Mr. G., sir, I'm impressed. What manufacturing/model of box has the drain tube thing (on the left) to keep the water off the wires?

Not to question you, but why are there two wires coming out of the top (on the right), and back into the soil? Shouldn't all the wires be through the bottom?

I also like the threaded or locking lid.

Mike M

Mike M
06-22-2007, 09:00 AM
I had to pry the bulb up out of the housing

Billy, can you use lubricants/anti-freeze? I am now trying to figure out exactly which to use on which parts, including on the sockets, etc.

I have the ideal aluminum stuff, and the silicone freebies that come with the fixtures.

Wait, don't respond here, I'll start a thread for this.

Thanks!

Mike

Pro-Scapes
06-22-2007, 08:36 PM
No.. When the bulbs and heat shields get pressed down in sometimes they wedge down in the fixture. With a fixed socket kichler or similar it seems this wouldnt be an issue.

Had to open some again today at another project and the bulbs popped right up easy to acsess. I dont put any lube on the O rings right now but probably would in the future. The high temp these fixtures get to worries me with most lubes on the market. As stated above we do use dielectric on sockets especially on area lights.

Mike M
06-22-2007, 09:57 PM
Kudos!

Billy, this word is not consistent with your written expression. Has me wondering if an impostor is using your membership account.

Don't mind me, Mr. Samuel Adams has come by to visit me tonight.

Mike

High Performance Lighting
06-22-2007, 10:05 PM
Mr. G., sir, I'm impressed. What manufacturing/model of box has the drain tube thing (on the left) to keep the water off the wires?

Not to question you, but why are there two wires coming out of the top (on the right), and back into the soil? Shouldn't all the wires be through the bottom?

I also like the threaded or locking lid.

Mike M

the 1" pipe in the box is an open sleeve which goes back to the transformer.

the wires that appear to go back into the ground do not. they are 3 #8 runs which homerun to a transformer for potential future use. Dab a little liquid tape on them to seal off the ends and they will be good to go should the need arise.

Chris J
06-22-2007, 10:23 PM
I apologize in advance for my ignorance, but I don't quite understand what I'm looking at in regards to the tube full of wires mentioned above. This is not a hub, I don't think, therefore I don't understand why all of these homeruns would originate at the transformer and then be spliced at this central location instead of going to their intended area. Maybe I'm reading too much into this and not seeing the obvious, but could you explain what I'm seeing in this scenario please?

Mike M
06-22-2007, 10:40 PM
Yeah, what Chris said.

I think I need to see a layout or a big-picture schemata. The mere reference to three number 8 wires as just-in-case or for-future-add-ons suggests an installation scale that someone like me would be better off not knowing about.

And the 1 inch return to the transformer--what in the frog is that?

High Performance Lighting
06-22-2007, 11:03 PM
I apologize in advance for my ignorance, but I don't quite understand what I'm looking at in regards to the tube full of wires mentioned above. This is not a hub, I don't think, therefore I don't understand why all of these homeruns would originate at the transformer and then be spliced at this central location instead of going to their intended area. Maybe I'm reading too much into this and not seeing the obvious, but could you explain what I'm seeing in this scenario please?

Why don't you PM Eddie Clemmons and ask him, better yet why don't you print out the photo, Study it very closely . Close your eyes and in your mind try and determine what value this could possibly be on a site.

Eden Lights
06-23-2007, 12:34 AM
Why don't you PM Eddie Clemmons and ask him, better yet why don't you print out the photo, Study it very closely . Close your eyes and in your mind try and determine what value this could possibly be on a site.

While I am out of town on a job and I only have a mintue, my last name is spelled Clemons if someone needs to contact me. I didn't realize things had gone a little crazy around here, what's up??? I must have skipped a few posts?

Lite4
06-23-2007, 01:52 AM
Hey Mike that photo of the ace connectors in the irrigation box looks very familiar. I could show you some identical, only instead of colored tape I use numbered tape. I do like the colors though. Nice job! I love ace connections, very clean.

Mike M
06-23-2007, 07:42 AM
that photo of the ace connectors in the irrigation box looks very familiar

Do you leave three #8 wires just in case you need'em in the future?

I wonder why you bother with numbering if they are color coded, unless it helps with more detail. You could always use two colors if you need more combo's.

Anyways, you're right, I'm impressed with both of you guys for using professional, strong, functional connections. I saw ones with standard screws, but I'm ordering the Nightscaping ones to get more torque with the Allen wrenches. Most likely I'll look on e-bay for Chris's torches and eventually get an electric tool for benchtop stuff when adding or prepping leads.

I'll also be trying the solder set-up with the ceramic pots, in case Billy ever moves to my town and starts to compete. In fact, I better start some physical endurance training on a treadmill, since he likens laps around the property with being in the Olympics.:walking: :weightlifter:

I think Billy has the Cast thing modified real well. Irrigation hubs, solder, grease tubes. Billy, you may want to play with the DBSR's that Paul uses; they have a friction connector built inside, and they appear to retain the wires a little more snuggly than the grease tubes that I have. They also take up less space and are somewhat transparent.

Mike M

Pro-Scapes
06-23-2007, 12:14 PM
I will try them but I do not think at least this point in time I will stray from soldering. I am all for a better protection device tho.

Pro-Scapes
06-23-2007, 12:17 PM
Mr. G., sir, I'm impressed. What manufacturing/model of box has the drain tube thing (on the left) to keep the water off the wires?

Not to question you, but why are there two wires coming out of the top (on the right), and back into the soil? Shouldn't all the wires be through the bottom?

I also like the threaded or locking lid.

Mike M

I dont think thoes wires are going back into the soil... They are loose wires. If you notice this apears to be amist a construction area and thoes wires may not be in use yet but in place for future additions.

Chris J
06-23-2007, 02:04 PM
Why don't you PM Eddie Clemmons and ask him, better yet why don't you print out the photo, Study it very closely . Close your eyes and in your mind try and determine what value this could possibly be on a site.

That's OK, you don't have to answer the question if you don't want to. I was just curious, but it's not that important.

Thanks anyway,

Mike M
06-23-2007, 05:04 PM
Chris, my guess, which is usually wrong, is that Billy is right about the construction site. It may be possible that this is a hub on the other side of a future obstacle, such as a driveway or patio, etc.

Exactly why there is a 1" pipe to the transformer is not clear to me, since there are no wires coming out of it. Could it be another access under a drive, etc., in case the three #8's are not enough?

Better yet, maybe the transformer is not hooked up yet to the hub. Get some fish tape and pull it through when your ready?

Hmmm.

When I close my eyes I start falling alseep.

Mike

Pro-Scapes
06-23-2007, 06:50 PM
my under experienced opinion on this.. That conduit you guys are looking at was mearly a marker for his underground work and he left it in to stablize the hub during construction. Look how it comes up to the top of the box. I didnt state and gawk at it all day but thats my first guess. or perhaps other wires will be fed thru the conduit and joined to the unused wires if indeed it is. Me personally I wouldnt leave a conduit uncovered on a construction site. Crap gets in there and creates issues when you go to pull your wires.

Mike M
06-23-2007, 07:17 PM
the 1" pipe in the box is an open sleeve which goes back to the transformer.--Mr. G.

I would say, since it is pvc, that it's probably not for under any concrete. Lord only knows, but 1" would be great for fish-taping more wire if the need arises. The lid on the hub should be an adequate cover, since the pvc seems to be flush with the lid.

I want to know how far this junction is from the transformer, and if it's there to avoid trenching or tearing something up in the future. Must be one large frogging job to have 3 extra #8's handy, and an empty 1" pipe in case you need more wire.

Mike M
06-23-2007, 07:31 PM
Back to heat shrink in the field;

Firefly uses an electric heat gun with an extension cord and doesn't toast the tube, Mike G uses Mapp gas, and Chris has three of something.

Anyone else want a go at this? I have a propane torch in my garage, so I'll most likekly just use that, but it has no built-in igniter. Difficult to get it started.

Just wondering what a convenient, reliable product would be. Why do I ask? It's like 100 out today and I'm done with my work.

Pro-Scapes
06-23-2007, 08:11 PM
ook i missed that it was a 1 inch pipe back to the trans. sorry... running around with a heat gun and extension cord is worse than my unplugging a solder pot. Does it look like Mike g's are toasted ? no... its all about heating it evenly and not getting rushed. You can do heat shrink with a torch as long as you dont get it too close.

High Performance Lighting
06-23-2007, 08:54 PM
would say, since it is pvc, that it's probably not for under any concrete. Lord only knows, but 1" would be great for fish-taping more wire if the need arises. The lid on the hub should be an adequate cover, since the pvc seems to be flush with the lid. The 1" conduit gets a 1" irri cap glued on before stuffing the wires in and closing the box
I want to know how far this junction is from the transformer, and if it's there to avoid trenching or tearing something up in the future. The "Hand hole" is about 30' from the transformer and yes it is a new construction project. Take a look at the photo and you determine if it's a large project. There are 4 transformer locations strategically located on the perimeter of this area that will feed this area once landscaped. One transformer location required 12 cables brought to this box and attached onto because yes there is a major obstacle there. so when a trench was dug by other 3' deep I took advantage of the opportunity by throwing in some wire and a PVC sleeve just in case? Must be one large frogging job to have 3 extra #8's handy, and an empty 1" pipe in case you need more wire.

Pro-Scapes
06-23-2007, 11:14 PM
way to plan ahead mike. I wish clients always thought of us before landscapers get in there. Be sure to give us some after shots!

Chris J
06-23-2007, 11:18 PM
I know that this explanation wasn't intended for me, but the whole thing now makes perfect sense. I just wish you hadn't felt the need for such a sarcastic response originally.

Lite4
06-23-2007, 11:38 PM
Hey Mike, You inspired me. Here is a picture of my splice box. I'll get some photos of the splices I am doing tomorrow. You'll think you are looking at your own. I do also use the same torch you use. (not pictured) only showing heat gun.

Mike M
06-23-2007, 11:48 PM
Tim, when are you using the brass crimps?

Lite4
06-23-2007, 11:53 PM
Are you talking about the copper crimp sleeves in the upper right hand corner of the box? I use those at my transformer. When bundling wires together in a lug, I will sleeve and crimp together so that the wires don't trashed if they get pulled out and put back in again for any reason. Plus it is also easier to get 1 connected group in the lug than 4-6 loose wires.

Mike M
06-24-2007, 12:10 AM
Oh, that's cool. I thought about using crimps to anchor my connections under the lid of the grease tubes, so the splice doesn't slide back up. But I'm going to the ace connectors.

Lite4
06-24-2007, 12:28 AM
You'll really like em. They are my chosen solution for hubbing. You will notice 2 sizes in my box th db1525 (small ones on the bottom) which are good for hubs up to 3-12/2's on one side. or the larger db1538 which will easily do 5- 12's or combination with some larger wire.

FThera
06-24-2007, 01:51 AM
Can you remove and reuse an ACE with a new shrink tube, or does the sealant from the original shrink make it trash?

High Performance Lighting
06-24-2007, 01:57 AM
the lug can be re-used with new heat shrinks. Just heat up the old and remove carefully.

klkanders
06-24-2007, 10:20 AM
Thanks everyone for the great info! May I ask where you have found the best deals to purchase the Ace connectors?

Tim - If you choose to put in fixtures without hub method what connection are you using for direct burial? Thanks in advance for the info and your pictures!

Lite4
06-24-2007, 10:53 AM
Klanders- for direct runs to a fixture I will either use the small blue or yellow, heat shrink, crimp butt splices you see in the photo. They are inexpensive and they work fantastic. Same as the ace connectors with the built in sealant. However they shrink a lot faster. I just test my voltage at the fixture. Any more than 1 light gets a hub. The small shrinks are made by Gardner Bender corp. 'GB extreme' The blues are 14-16 AWG, and the yellows are 10-12 AWG

Mike M
06-24-2007, 03:13 PM
Curious why they don't make a pre-insulated crimp for larger splices. Maybe the insulation could be damaged while crimping?

Well, then how about a slightly longer copper tube for use with the buchanan crimp, and then shrink tube over that? That would be faster, stronger, and gas tight. Just not removable.

Hey Paul, take that to SCORE and get us a patent. :)

Mike

Mike M
06-24-2007, 03:41 PM
That plastic cap on the bucannan, is that the part that screws down?

Chris, I think that cap just snaps on. You fill it with a sealant. I will cite the thread for you on lowvolt.org.

Paul's method does not use that cap, instead, he puts it into a silicone filled tube thing aka "dbsr" made by DryConn. I noticed that the dbsr has a friction twist-on built inside, but Paul doesn't use that either, he just puts the crimped connection into it. There should be enough strain relief to keep the connection from sliding up.

Mike M

High Performance Lighting
06-24-2007, 04:02 PM
Hey Paul, take that to SCORE and get us a patent. :)

Mike

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Mike M
06-24-2007, 04:48 PM
Disclaimer: With all due respect!!! :)

Honestly, after going through this whole connection thing, I see lots of room for simple advancements. Four-point crimping and heatshrink tubing need to come together; simplicity, strength, reliability.

Do they read this forum at Ideal? How about Nightscaping? Dryconn???

Mike

Mike M
06-24-2007, 04:52 PM
Okay, whoever has the Buchanon crimp tool, please try this out: get a piece of 1 to 2" copper tubing with a diameter similar to the copper crimps, and put in some wire and make one or two crimps on the tube. Pull the heat-shrink over the connection as you would the ace, and shrink it/seal it. Does it work or or not?

Mike M
06-24-2007, 05:10 PM
Oops, not sure what you're gonna do when the crimp is made and your crimper is hanging there on the wire.

Maybe just a traditional crimp from an open-end crimper.

Chris J
06-24-2007, 08:58 PM
Oops, not sure what you're gonna do when the crimp is made and your crimper is hanging there on the wire.

Maybe just a traditional crimp from an open-end crimper.

:laugh: :laugh:
Just don't hook up your transformer, or run your wires under the driveway or side walk. After you make your crimp, you can just run back to the end of the run with your tool to get it out! :laugh: :laugh:
Or, for you high end guys where cost is not an issue, just have one crimp tool for every splice!
I have got to meet you Mike! You are my kind of guy!

Lite4
06-24-2007, 09:04 PM
Hey Mike, the yellow and blue connectors are crimps already in the sleeve. Just crimp and shrink.

Mike M
06-24-2007, 09:49 PM
I know, I'm wondering why they don't make crimps like that for larger splices. I thought it would be cool to have a connection like the Buchanan with an in-line version.

Pro-Scapes
06-24-2007, 09:54 PM
I used to use ones that looked like that when I worked for Honda years ago. It was part of thier terminal repair kit. Are they actually rated for direct burial ? I know they were slick for repairing automotive wiring

klkanders
06-24-2007, 11:28 PM
Tim, Thanks for the info.....I checked out GB's website and unless I didn't look hard enough i didn't see the yellow and blue connectors on it. Can you tell me here or in a PM where you buy all your connectors and such. I hope I am not asking too much if so let me know. Thanks!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-24-2007, 11:40 PM
Crimp this, seal that.... I dont know about all this. The two best connections I have found are the Nightscaping ACE connector and the Belden Solder Seal. Both are easy to use and create fantastic connections that are impervious to moisture.

Have a great day.

Mike M
06-25-2007, 10:01 AM
Belden Solder Seal. Impervious to moisture? Please explain/show images if possible.

It appears this would be a great tool for making pluggable connections (rca's etc.) especially for indoor lv systems.

Is it direct burial rated? In the US? Do you have to shrink tube over it or what? What are the connector/crimps you are using? I would be interested in this connection if it was double-sided as a butt crimp connection.

Thanks,

Mike M.

Just when I thought the splice thread was arriving at its destination.

FThera
06-25-2007, 06:38 PM
Here is an interesting read on splices and wire.

http://goodoldboat.com/electrical.html

Frank

Pro-Scapes
06-25-2007, 07:22 PM
you guys are really making this out to be more difficult than it is.

Mike M
06-25-2007, 08:00 PM
Here is an interesting read on splices and wire.
That was interesting, thanks!!

While it was brought up on this thread that we don't need to reinvent what the irrigation guys have been using, another good point is that we can look to the boat guys in the marine environment for info on marine grade butt splices, etc.

I will now be checking out Ancor splices. May be the best for attaching leads on fixtures?

Mike M
06-25-2007, 08:02 PM
you guys are really making this out to be more difficult than it is.

I know, but it's fun.

Mike

Lite4
06-26-2007, 02:21 AM
Mike and Klanders, the GB connector I use is just like the ancor product. It is semi translucent (see pic). It is not the one in the boat thread. It is a new style. Called 'GB Extreme'. Got em at Lowes. Tried em once and have used em ever since. They are rated for use in wet locals as well as being rated for use in chemicals and petroleum, direct contact. These new ones are pretty tough. The older style (non-translucent sleeve), does not work for direct burial. Hope that helps.

Mike M
06-26-2007, 09:11 AM
They are rated for use in wet locals as well as being rated for use in chemicals and petroleum

Yeah, I saw these. I'll buy some and I'll get the ancor product, just because I'm bored, and hook up my meter to see what goes through (or doesn't). That part of the guys experiment had me curious.

Mike

klkanders
06-26-2007, 10:26 AM
Thanks Tim!
I will have to go make a purchase.

Pro-Scapes
06-28-2007, 04:39 PM
Here is my hub I promised to take a pic of. There is only 2 fixtures in this one but there will be 3 more lights added after a fountain goes in next month. There is about 2 ft of wire inside coiled neatly to allow for easy service in the future. Inside the tubes the wires (copper 12ga with 2 cast 16ga no ox leads) are soldered. I note things on the insde of the lid with a sharpie and color tape my wires in the hubs and match the transformer. Im open for suggestions on improvments. Note I left the box a bit high as the area is scedualed to be mulched over with hardwood mulch.

Mike M
06-28-2007, 06:54 PM
Thanks, Billy! I like the irrigation hubs, too. I never thought of writing under the lid.

Hey, just wondering, how deep do you put your wires in mulch-covered beds? I know code is 6", I was told it can include the layer of mulch. Many people say keep it up in the mulch for the owner if they plant a lot.

Thanks again,

Mike

Pro-Scapes
06-28-2007, 09:25 PM
as deep as possible and whenever possible we keep the wires out of harms way even if it means a few extra ft of wire. When I have to cross mid planting area for like an area light I slip a piece of 1/2 inch conduit over the lead wire. Keeping your wires along foundations and use common sence will help keep call backs down.

I have had clients ask me to keep it under mulch in seasonal bed areas.. for some reason I cant rememeber if we left it that shallow or not :rolleyes:

Mike M
06-28-2007, 09:32 PM
Perfect response.

Thanks!

klkanders
06-29-2007, 12:11 AM
Billy, What size is that valve box? 6" and does it flare out alot at bottom?
Does anyone know where to buy them with no holes in lid?
And maybe some smaller ones?
Thanks!

Pro-Scapes
06-29-2007, 12:50 AM
6 inches.. flared at bottom... They are from dallas specialties. A 4 inch would be sweet. I kinda like the hole.. makes it easy to open

klkanders
07-13-2007, 01:40 AM
I took the advice and bought the Buchanan 4-way crimper and the open ended crimps. Had them about 2 weeks and I really like the way they work. Strong! Then as suggested I slip them inside a grease tube w snap end.

When using hubs what is everyone using for boxes? I know Billy is using the round 6" that flares out wider at the bottom but I would like something a little smaller. Has anyone found any other options? Thanks!

Mike M
07-13-2007, 08:29 AM
Those hubs are a perfect size for me and cheap at FOLD, but if you want, I also bought a smaller hub from a lighting-specific manufacturer, but they are not as mass produced and cost more (I got the Unique, but you also pay for stuff you may not be using--fuses, connectors, zip tie). Ask your distributer about other options they have, most manu's offer a hub now for spider-type splices.

Which grease tube did you go with?

Pro-Scapes
07-13-2007, 09:12 AM
spj also makes one I think... i dont like the connectors that come with it. Its basically a splastic version of the spider splice... about the same time.

I still use spiders when apearance counts but as per casts recomendations I buried a bunch of wire at the base of the splice. I had to dig one up to replace the main and it was a major pita and a birds nest. I ended up cutting it all back apart and using a valve box.
A 3 to 4 inch box would probably get my attn real fast... valve boxes are a bit big in most cases... spider splices are a bit small in most cases.

johnquest
07-13-2007, 01:42 PM
This is what I'm using for a hub. Works awesome.

http://www.enclosuresonline.com/

klkanders
07-13-2007, 04:03 PM
Mike M, I have used the small brown Unique boxes and they are nice (and expensive) but kinda get cramped at times. I am just exploring options on something between that and the deeper 6" valve box that I can buy in quantity at a resonable price. I got a few leads I'm checking out and will let everyone know if I find something. 3M grease tubes.

SamIV
07-13-2007, 04:52 PM
The 6" valve box is usually a little too big, but for four bucks at Lowe's I'll deal with it.

SamIV

NightScenes
07-13-2007, 10:09 PM
I use the usual 6" UCV box that I get from my irrigation supply company. (Longhorn Irrigation supply) It has plenty of room, blends in with the valve boxes for the irrigation and they are cost efficient.

Chris J
07-13-2007, 10:29 PM
Thoes are similar to the ones Im using. I solder then insert into the tubes tho I dont use a crimp unless its unsafe to take my solder pot in a tight area or its a repair of someone elses work.

When I use the grease tubes I move the wires around in em a bit to coat em good before sealing them shut.


Im going to get some of thoes ace connectors for tree lights I think tho.

When you guys are speaking of crimps, are you talking about the 1/2" copper tubes that come with the dildo pictured above? Also, is this dildo considered a true DBSR? I know this sounds silly, but I really would like to know the answers to these questions. I have never used this sort of connector, and I am considering giving them a try.

Mike M
07-14-2007, 08:47 AM
Chris,

Yes, those are Buchanan crimps that come with those grease tubes. The Buchanan tool makes fours points of compression around them, and the connections are gas-tight and stronger than the wire. Irrigation distributors should have the tubes, I got a bag of small and a bag of large from FOLD.

The ones Paul uses I think have better strain relief, the orange tubes allow the connection to slide if pulled. I've been looking for a better grease tube with a tight, reliable strain relief.

Paul has a good method. I ordered samples of the clear DBSR's, but never got any. Also, search "buchanan" at lowvolt.

ccfree
07-15-2007, 02:18 PM
Have any of you ever tried the FX Luminaire splicing technique? Very user friendly and extremely versatile in the field. You buy a lite splice kit which includes 50 red wire nuts, 25 plastic bags, and 25 zip ties. Then you buy a tube of electrical silicone. Make your splice, then after you have checked the correct voltage, fill the bag 1/4 full with the silicone and insert both red wire nuts. Zip tie the bag and work the silicone inside the wire nuts. The silicone will become hard creating a water proof connection. The nice thing about the versatility is I also carry smaller yellow and larger gray wire nuts that also fit in the bag. Great connection for your valve/hub in-ground boxes.

Eden Lights
07-15-2007, 03:24 PM
Have any of you ever tried the FX Luminaire splicing technique? Very user friendly and extremely versatile in the field. You buy a lite splice kit which includes 50 red wire nuts, 25 plastic bags, and 25 zip ties. Then you buy a tube of electrical silicone. Make your splice, then after you have checked the correct voltage, fill the bag 1/4 full with the silicone and insert both red wire nuts. Zip tie the bag and work the silicone inside the wire nuts. The silicone will become hard creating a water proof connection. The nice thing about the versatility is I also carry smaller yellow and larger gray wire nuts that also fit in the bag. Great connection for your valve/hub in-ground boxes.

Anyone know what the FX silicone is?? It sets up hard a rock. It seems to be oil based? Any ideas?

ccfree
07-15-2007, 03:30 PM
FX says it is their secret sauce. Tried to get it out of them for years. Still working on that one

NightScenes
07-15-2007, 03:44 PM
Craig, why won't they tell one of their distributors what their product is?

ccfree
07-15-2007, 03:59 PM
Beats me Paul. I guess they don't want to give up their industry secrets. So how have you been doing Paul? Sounds like the lighting biz is treating you good. Had a contractor tell me about this site last week, so I decided to check it out. I am glad I did.

klkanders
07-15-2007, 04:48 PM
Craig, I have used the FX system. It's ok but can be a little messy and costly. Like alot of other methods I still wonder about water eventually working its way in. Who knows? Curently I am using the Buchanan crimps and grease tube method and like the solid connection. Thanks Paul!

NightScenes
07-15-2007, 05:51 PM
Things are good down here. You ought to come down sometime. You must come into Cedar Park or Austin sometime, or are you bound up in the Dallas area?

Anyway, it's great to see you here and I look forward to seeing you on the new AOLP forum as well.

trailboss
07-20-2007, 11:28 PM
Anybody tried these?
Ideal Industries 30-063

http://idealindustries.com/wt/TwistOnWireConnectors.nsf

Mike M
07-21-2007, 06:42 PM
The twist-ons can come apart if tugged by a landscaper or pulled by a growing plant root. Twisting a cap on your wire can also cut a strand or two, compromising your wire run. I especially don't like them because they are not consistent in connection quality.

Also, not much is there to protect the connection from the elements. If you use them, at least put them in a grease tube for a second layer of protection. Even if the connection does not completely become undone, bare wires can start coming out of the cap.

trailboss
09-06-2007, 11:49 PM
OK, you knew that someone would have to make this thread surface back up.
Anyway, what are most of you using to connect fixtures to a T line? I have been using Ace connectors or twist ons in a DBR. Early on in this thread someone mentioned a pierce connector that was gel filled - any info. on this?

I was also curious what most are using in your transformer connections - blade connectors, buchanan crimps or ???

I know that a lot of this gets beat to death but I'm always open to a better way.

ChampionLS
09-07-2007, 02:06 AM
The LVC4 By Hadco will T splice 12/2 or 10/3 without cutting or splicing.

It's a little costly, as silicone filled wire nuts are more cost effective. In some situations, where you can't pull slack to splice, this unit will work well.

Pro-Scapes
09-07-2007, 08:15 AM
oh boy here we go again. Twist ons alone in my opinion are not enough... if the wire gets disturbed or roots grow and pull on it (hey many times you in beds or near a tree!) it will pull apart and give problems.

If there is not enough slack to repair something either slack must be added or a new wire run.

I can promise you... my double splice with soldered and tubed connections has alot more integrity than any pierce point connection.

Mike M
09-07-2007, 10:15 PM
Billy,

What do you mean by double splice?

ChampionLS
09-09-2007, 12:42 AM
As some of you know, we use pierce point taps for our fixtures- 4 watts/.33 amps per fixture does allow for any significant power loss. However, expecting to branch off a secondary using a pierce point tap to run several fixtures is not the best option available. Most secondary connections (on our products) are done above grade, or where the weather can affect the integrity, so wire nuts, and/or soldering and leaving extra slack will offer the best possible results.

jana
09-16-2007, 01:48 PM
I can promise you... my double splice with soldered and tubed connections has alot more integrity than any pierce point connection.

Billy, what tubes are you using, and where are you getting them? I see them here (http://www.outdoorlightingdirect.com/accessories.htm).

If you are crimping after soldering, the connection is compromised, solder broken, crushed.

NightLightingFX
09-16-2007, 04:56 PM
Jana,
If you are a contractor, don't use "Outdoorlightingdirect.com". I believe that is owned by Florida Outdoor Lighting. You might as well work directly with Florida Outdoor Lighting as a contractor. Contact them they will give you a pass word to go on their website so you can purchase products at contractor prices not retail. go to www.floridaoutdoorlighting.com
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

Chris J
09-27-2007, 04:33 PM
Way back in this thread somewhere, I promised that I would eventually go back to the first job I ever used the King greased filled wire nut connectors to see how they were holding up. Yesterday, we did just that and I am relieved to find out that the connectors that we inspected were still very tight and in tact. I also removed some of the connections to check for corrosion and/or wicking. One of the connections had just a slight bit of corrosion on 3 or 4 wires, but there was no evidence of this in the others and there was no wicking in any of the connections that we tested.
If anyone is wondering, this installation is a little over 3 years old, and it is right on the marsh of the intracoastal waterway (2 miles from the ocean)which is one of the harshest environments for anything outdoors.
While I do think that the Buchannan crimp coupled with the a DBSR is the best method for connections, I can now honestly stand behind my past statements about the grease filled wire nuts. I have never had a connection fail with any of these methods, and I hope some of you will find this information useful.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-27-2007, 05:48 PM
Way back in this thread somewhere, I promised that I would eventually go back to the first job I ever used the King greased filled wire nut connectors to see how they were holding up. Yesterday, we did just that and I am relieved to find out that the connectors that we inspected were still very tight and in tact. I also removed some of the connections to check for corrosion and/or wicking. One of the connections had just a slight bit of corrosion on 3 or 4 wires, but there was no evidence of this in the others and there was no wicking in any of the connections that we tested.
If anyone is wondering, this installation is a little over 3 years old, and it is right on the marsh of the intracoastal waterway (2 miles from the ocean)which is one of the harshest environments for anything outdoors.
While I do think that the Buchannan crimp coupled with the a DBSR is the best method for connections, I can now honestly stand behind my past statements about the grease filled wire nuts. I have never had a connection fail with any of these methods, and I hope some of you will find this information useful.

I have been using King Innovation - DryConn Waterproof Connectors (Part number 61235 and others){they are filled with a non hardening silicone, not grease by the way) for almost 10 years. I have had great sucess with them and haven't found any that failed. The important thing here is to watch how you strip the wires and that they are properly installed. You must ensure that all of the stripped wire goes into the connector and that they are fully tightened on. Pretty simple stuff really. Just like any connector, if it is installed improperly then you will have problems.

For really large, complex connections I prefer to use the Nightscaping ACE Connectors. These are by far the best in the business. A bit time consuming to use, but totally robust. They also are great in-line connectors for those hard to conceal areas when you dont have any space to hide a bulky connection.

Have a great day.

Chris J
09-27-2007, 09:34 PM
James,
I also use the Ace connectors for in-line splices and tree mounts, etc... and I really love them. They come in real handy at times, but I do concur with your statement about time consumption. I also agree with what you are saying about improper installation technique. This has to be the reason why some may not like the silicon filled wire nuts because they have proven to be very effective and efficient for us. It appears that we do have something in common after all! :drinkup:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-28-2007, 12:23 AM
James,
It appears that we do have something in common after all! :drinkup:

Well hey! Look at that.... commonality over all these miles. :)

So Chris, are you anywhere near the Ft. Meyers area? Perhaps when I am down there this winter we could get together for a pint? Might be interesting to trade notes and shake hands.

Have a great day.

Chris J
09-28-2007, 09:02 AM
Ft. Myers is on the SW coast of Florida, and I am at the NE coastline so it is about a 7 hour travel. Your plane will be passing right over me though, so when you get to that point just JUMP! I'll get you the rest of the way by boat and we'll have a nice visit. See ya!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-28-2007, 09:17 AM
Well Chris, we will be driving down... doing the 24hr non-stop Snow Bird value special. I'm sure the wife and kids would not appreciate the detour, especailly around 3-5 am when we are typically in North Florida.

As for that boat trip, that might have to wait a couple years till we have the Southern Office up and established.... ocean going boats cost big $$$ dontchya know!

Have a great day.

Lite4
09-28-2007, 03:37 PM
James and Chris,
I have a ton of those King connectors in a box. I get em with my lights from Vista but I just throw them in a box. I don't use em. I probably have around 300-400. I am going to put them on ebay tomorrow. They will be very, reasonably priced compared to retail small quantities.

Firefly Lighting
09-28-2007, 03:54 PM
don't use them...bundle them 6 or 12 to a bag and sel them on email for $1.00 or 2 a piece...you'll make a killin...they are chnaging to connectors next year though...if the grapevine is correct

NiteTyme- I have thousands of those stupid things from Hadco fixtures over the years. Does any one know where you can sell them. I'd do .25/piece just to clear them out.

Thanks

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-28-2007, 04:22 PM
James and Chris,
I have a ton of those King connectors in a box. I get em with my lights from Vista but I just throw them in a box. I don't use em. I probably have around 300-400. I am going to put them on ebay tomorrow. They will be very, reasonably priced compared to retail small quantities.

Good luck on the Ebay thing Firefly... I buy them in bulk from my distributor at around $0.60 each so its not a money thing I assue you. Just a good, fast, effective, direct burial connector.

The only bad thing about them is that some people out there have not been tightening them on enough! I came across a job last week where the installer had used the IDEAL version of silicone filled wire nuts.... only problem was that they didnt tighten them on at all. A 5 year old could have done a better job. As a result the connections were loose inside the wire nuts = resistance + heat. Just like anything, if it is not installed correctly then you can have problems.

Have a great day.

Lite4
09-28-2007, 06:26 PM
hey James,
I hear ya, That's why I don't use em. I don't want my splices to be able to be pulled apart by tree roots etc.

Chris J
09-28-2007, 09:30 PM
Tim,
PM or email me directly. I'll take all of them off of your hands if the price is right. (We are talking about the black with grey caps?) Save yourself the time with ebay. You have a buyer right here.

Lite4
09-29-2007, 12:56 PM
Here you go Chris, Black kings with gray caps.

Chris J
09-29-2007, 02:52 PM
My shipping info is in your mailbox.

pete scalia
09-29-2007, 09:15 PM
hey James,
I hear ya, That's why I don't use em. I don't want my splices to be able to be pulled apart by tree roots etc.

I concur Tim. It's a lousy splice and I wouldn't use it if it was free. Right straight in the trash they go.

Chris J
09-29-2007, 09:50 PM
Yep, it's a lousy splice that has never costed me one red cent in a call back. No one else should ever use them though; me and James have just been lucky. For those of you who don't use them, I'll gladly take them off your hands and put some money back in your pocket. If you choose to trash them, well, that's your own business (or lack thereof).

Mike M
09-30-2007, 08:35 AM
As long as the connectors are installed correctly, I think the primary concern is the tugging of the wires from landscape maintenance and the pulling from root growth. The root thing may take a few years.

I wonder if anyone here can testify to this with info from call backs, etc.?

pete scalia
09-30-2007, 12:18 PM
I do alot of lighting remodel work that has originally been installed by someone else. Whenever we go to pull the wire out of the ground the conections always come apart without much resistance. Dealing with wire that has been connected with these silicone grease connections is messy. The grease gets all over the place. The copper is always discolored at the splice. I dislike this splice with a passion.

Lite4
09-30-2007, 12:34 PM
Pete,
After reading through this thread it seams as though everybody has a different technique for splicing wires. Which type do you aspire to. I use the Ace connectors myself.

pete scalia
09-30-2007, 12:41 PM
Tim , I am an ace connector user as well.

pete scalia
09-30-2007, 05:53 PM
I think this photo effectively closes this thread.

Lite4
09-30-2007, 06:40 PM
Wow!!!!!!!!!!

David Gretzmier
09-30-2007, 09:22 PM
After repairing hundreds of irrigation systems over the past 25 years, I can say with authority that wire nuts can and will work, even in nasty valve boxes buried and under water. however, those connections don't carry near the amps our wire does, so I don't know if it is a fair comparison. I know I have not seen the corrosion on 40 year old wires in irrigation I have seen on landscape wires just 3 years old. silicone or grease wire nuts done properly should work. they have been working for decades. folks just don't use them properly.

Chris J
09-30-2007, 09:49 PM
I think this photo effectively closes this thread.

As was previously stated in this thread, those that don't use the wire nuts properly will ultimately have trouble with their use. This is a prime example of what we have been talking about. This particular wire nut is NOT UL approved, and is also rated for only 10 amps. Therefore, the above mentioned post does not effectively close this thread. You can thank me later for the additional knowledge that you now possess. :dizzy:

Lite4
09-30-2007, 10:11 PM
Pete,
The brown wire with the start of the 800 number on it. Looks like it came off of a Unique fixture, maybe?

pete scalia
09-30-2007, 11:22 PM
Pete,
The brown wire with the start of the 800 number on it. Looks like it came off of a Unique fixture, maybe?

Tim you are very perceptive as this splice was removed from a unique lighting system hub. Looks like there is 1 #8 and 4 #16's in that wonderful wire nut splice cap. Coulda burned the whole house down. The primary fuse in the Unique transformer never blew. Just kept cranking 18 volts into this hub until it melted to point of no return.

Lite4
10-01-2007, 02:00 AM
Good night man, 18 volts on a #8 wire? How far away were these lights from the tranny? Must have been a stretch.

Mike M
10-01-2007, 08:43 AM
I agree with Chris, that connector is not fair to compare with the UL rated silicone ones.

Like I said, I hear a lot of people mention the twist-ons will twist off in the field, so I'd like to hear about specific incidents when this happened (roots, people tugging with tools, etc.).

trailboss
10-02-2007, 12:02 AM
Since reading this thread our splice method is as follows-
Braid the wire carefully end to end - Solder the wire together - Apply Ace Connector - Fold and insert into Extra Large DBR - Insert DBR into Resin Pack - Insert Resin Pack into Small Grocery Bag filled with Silicone then zip tied - All of this goes into a Large Valve Box.

This connection costs about $45 + 45 Minutes per splice but I'm sure its well worth it.

pete scalia
10-02-2007, 12:05 AM
Since reading this thread our splice method is as follows-
Braid the wire carefully end to end - Solder the wire together - Apply Ace Connector - Fold and insert into Extra Large DBR - Insert DBR into Resin Pack - Insert Resin Pack into Small Grocery Bag filled with Silicone then zip tied - All of this goes into a Large Valve Box.

This connection costs about $45 + 45 Minutes per splice but I'm sure its well worth it.

so a job with 200 fixtures has 9K in connections? Good gig if you can get it.

Lite4
10-02-2007, 12:16 AM
You know, I have had a few customers that would probably go for that. Some have been more anal about connections than I am. AMAZING!!!!!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-02-2007, 12:25 AM
Since reading this thread our splice method is as follows-
Braid the wire carefully end to end - Solder the wire together - Apply Ace Connector - Fold and insert into Extra Large DBR - Insert DBR into Resin Pack - Insert Resin Pack into Small Grocery Bag filled with Silicone then zip tied - All of this goes into a Large Valve Box.

This connection costs about $45 + 45 Minutes per splice but I'm sure its well worth it.

I can only guess that you are joking. That is a bit of overkill. If you are referring to the Nightscaping ACE Connector then you have things covered with just that alone. Why would anyone waste a client's money like the example above.

Good sense of humour though. :)

trailboss
10-02-2007, 12:34 AM
Whats crazy is that there are some who would think that I was serious.

klkanders
10-02-2007, 03:25 AM
trailboss,
Do you think it would be ok if I used a bread wrapper and tie to save some money? I know some retired people who save them. Those zip ties can get expensive! :)

Mike M
10-02-2007, 07:43 AM
Braid the wire carefully end to end - Solder the wire together - Apply Ace Connector - Fold and insert into Extra Large DBR - Insert DBR into Resin Pack - Insert Resin Pack into Small Grocery Bag filled with Silicone then zip tied - All of this goes into a Large Valve Box.

This is ridiculous.

All we need to do is lift the wire above the ground to avoid contact with the harsh soil environment. To protect the wire, I'm gonna go with mini telephone poles, about two feet high, and to avoid connections all together, I'm gonna homerun all fixtures individually to multiple transformers mounted on posts.

trailboss
10-02-2007, 10:28 AM
trailboss,
Do you think it would be ok if I used a bread wrapper and tie to save some money? I know some retired people who save them. Those zip ties can get expensive! :)

I would have to send the particular bread wrapper & tie to the Lab to test the strength - it has to be able to hold two tubes of silicone - Anything less is just not sufficient.

bmwsmity
10-02-2007, 12:01 PM
you mean it isn't okay to just twist wire together and tape it up? :laugh:

that's exactly what I saw on a recent repair job. no wonder nothing worked. what's amazing is I'm sure the poor dude paid through the nose for the install.

to connect fixtures to runs, the guy just cut away some of the insulation and wrapped the bare lead from the fixture around the bare run wire, then taped.

when I see stuff like this, it just makes me sick that I don't have a huge marketing budget to prevent jerks like this from taking market share from me! :hammerhead:

bmwsmity
10-02-2007, 12:04 PM
As was previously stated in this thread, those that don't use the wire nuts properly will ultimately have trouble with their use. This is a prime example of what we have been talking about. This particular wire nut is NOT UL approved, and is also rated for only 10 amps. Therefore, the above mentioned post does not effectively close this thread. You can thank me later for the additional knowledge that you now possess. :dizzy:

ditto. even the best of connection methods can result in total meltdown if the run is given a nice heavy dose of 27 amps! (which, by the way I saw recently on a "quality" Hadco transformer system...yeah, the breaker never tripped).

eskerlite
10-02-2007, 09:52 PM
Ul 1838 specifies that no compression connections can be used. Arent the Copper connectors compression connectors?
Sean C.

Chris J
10-02-2007, 10:09 PM
Ul 1838 specifies that no compression connections can be used. Arent the Copper connectors compression connectors?
Sean C.

Are you talking about transformer connections or fixture connections? As far as fixture connections go, I've never seen the UL 1838 prohibit the crimp connection nor do I understand what the difference is. The Ace is pretty much doing the same thing, but just from one side. Please explain as I'm confused as to what you are talking about.

Lite4
10-03-2007, 12:03 AM
Yes, I am also confused and have not yet seen that one. Ace, wire nuts, etc.. They all compress the wire together whether under a screw or inside a cap.

Mike M
10-03-2007, 10:40 PM
Maybe this has to do with aluminum to copper? The Buchanon crimp I think is the only compression UL approved for this, I think.

But what do I know.

Mike M
11-16-2007, 02:16 PM
If you haven't already, please specify your favorite splice method here.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-16-2007, 06:28 PM
If you haven't already, please specify your favorite splice method here.

Nothing more fun then a good Poll. :)

1: Ace Connector - :weightlifter: It just works really well.... buy extra set screws.
1A: 1/4 (Mini) Ace - Great inline connector for those hard to hide areas on built structures... buy extra set screws.
2: Belden Solder Seals - Permanent and Waterproof..... small, limited multi wire capacity
3: King Innovation ~ DryConn - When installed properly and to spec. they are fast, effective, and cost efficient.

Have a great day.

irrig8r
11-16-2007, 09:18 PM
I agree with James on the Ace and the Dry Conn. Never used the Belden. I always use two tie wraps after every Dry Conn connector. I tend to use the Ace or Quarter Ace on new projects and for trees or arbors or other places where I want clean wire runs. I tend to use the Dry Conn for repairs and upgrades.

I also have been playing with splices from Sure Splice, that contain a "special non melting synthetic dielectric water proof sealant" which is clear, odorless and a b***h to get off your hands... Otherwise they look like a DBY/ DBR. It's called a 1412 Splice.

http://www.suresplice.com/

NightScenes
11-16-2007, 11:31 PM
Bar none, the best connection available is the Buchanan Crimp!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-17-2007, 09:10 AM
Bar none, the best connection available is the Buchanan Crimp!

Paul, could you please post a web link to the specific Buchanan product line you are referring to? I would appreciate learning more. I have never heard of these.

Thanks.

NightScenes
11-17-2007, 10:38 AM
James, here are pictures of the crimp and the tool required to make the connection. This connection is required by NEC for joining copper and aluminum wires because it is so tight that it actually does not allow for any air between the strands of wire. We all know that air is required for corrosion. If you get rid of the air, you get rid of corrosion. Also, the wire will break before the crimp will give way. This is the most solid connection that I know of. After making the connection, I put it into a grease tube and then place the whole thing into a valve box.

Pro-Scapes
11-17-2007, 10:50 AM
buchanans have been around a long time. I got a pair of crimpers from the 60's or 70's from my grandpa. I still solder when I can and use the crimps where I cant get my solder to.

Butt splices from www.mcmaster.com or solder gun and heavy duty silicone filled shrink boot when I need to make a lead on a fixture or extend one.

Will probably go to ace connectors for inline splicing in future tho when my crimps run out.

ChampionLS
11-18-2007, 05:22 AM
I have one of those red crimpers in my shop's tool cabinet. I never knew what it was used for- Bought it at a electronics flea market many moons ago. It appeared to be some sort of a cable crimper. (I originally thought aircraft cable).

Thanks for the info Paul.

Lite4
11-18-2007, 10:25 AM
I use Ace connectors, the DB-1525, and the larger DB-1538. They are perfect for my hubs, and very easy to test with. I have been going back and forth on my light connections. for the last year I have been using a product called GB Extreme. They are heat shrink 10/12 G small but connectors. They have worked ok, but I think I am going to go to something like the buchanan on my lights. Does anyone know where I can find silicone impregnated heat shrink 'caps'? Finding tubing is easy, but I am having trouble locating the caps. I had a rep show me some but I can't seem to get in touch with him to tell me where he got them.

ChampionLS
11-18-2007, 01:37 PM
Why not make your own? You can buy NYK Anti-Corrosive Compound in a 5oz tube. It's great for making corrosive proof connections when making custom splices, or for use on sockets and connectors.

Mike M
11-18-2007, 02:52 PM
Does anyone know where I can find silicone impregnated heat shrink 'caps'?

For the love of God, if such a product exists, you may have finally ended my obsessive quest.

Here's what I've been looking for in the perfect bullet-proof splice:

1. Strength (ain't gonna break or come undone).
2. Double layer (2-stage) solid corrosion protection.
3. Cost effective.

For example, I was planning on solder splice with a silcone twist-on, and then placing in a grease tube (and then placed in a hub, but I consider the hub to be more of a maintenance utility and overall protection than it is absolute corrosion-proofing).

I love the Buchanan, since the money is in the tool, and I know they make a cap that snaps on it which you can fill with silicone, so I also thought about doing that and then putting it in a grease tube. But there is still wire exposed before or at the crimp, which would be before the cap.

The heat-shrink cap you mention would cover the connection, and then the splice could go inside a greese tube. Bullet proof strength crimp, 2-stage corrosion protection, simple, fast and cost-effective.

Where are those caps??

Mike

Lite4
11-18-2007, 02:58 PM
Mike, I will try getting ahold of this rep. He showed me one he had found and used it as a demo to show contractors an option for waterproof splices. He said for the crimp and cap the cost worked out to around .70 per light. I'll get back to you when I find out.

Mike M
11-18-2007, 03:25 PM
Thanks!

I still like the ACE for inlines. I know all the connections mentioned on this thread be be adequate, especially when placed in a hub, but I love attention to the details.

Chris J
11-18-2007, 10:12 PM
I'm not understanding this "cap" for shrink tubes? When I think of heat shrink, I invision a straw-like tube that wires go into at either end, then you heat it up to seal the connection. What is this cap you guys are talking about? I've never heard of a heat shrink cap, nor can I imagine it's purpose. Please elaborate for the dense one.

Mike M
11-18-2007, 10:31 PM
tube with an end?

Pro-Scapes
11-19-2007, 12:49 AM
Mike if you stick with the soldered joints like Burt and I do you can sit there and yank on em all day long and they wont come apart. I do have some soldered and dryconned splices out there with zero issues but have since gone to soldered with grease tubed altho paul was ripping on my tubes in Fla last month. I gotta find some with a longer fin to hold the wires in I guess but I still never had an issue with em.

Lets face it. There are several ways to make a very good connection and you should be profecient in more than 1 method because different situations will dictate different ways.

Mike M
11-19-2007, 07:45 AM
I gotta find some with a longer fin to hold the wires in

I'm glad you mentioned this, it why I want a second stage of corrosion proof, which in your case means using the dryconns inside of the tubes. I don't like how the splice can slide back out. The fin thing is too short, plus there is hardly any actual strain relief. Maybe Paul's 3m dbsr is more snug?

The two strongest are the solder and the crimp, the ace is strong but the money is in each splice instead of the tools.

Pro-Scapes
11-19-2007, 09:05 AM
I thought like you did at one time and was soldering... using wirenuts then tubing it. Good luck finding a dbsr large enough to hold the blue drycons. I really dont think you need the nut with either a buchanan or the solder.

JoeyD
11-19-2007, 04:10 PM
I think this photo effectively closes this thread.


Just noticed this part of the thread here and want to make clear this is not a Unique wire nut. And this customer could have used a TF with Secondary Fusing from us and he also could have installed his Hub with an inline fuse which would have prevented this. We do provide forms of protection to help eliminate this but you can lead a horse to water.................

Mike M
11-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Heat Shrink END CAPS... Yes, 3M and another manu. Oops, forgot images... But was able to edit this oops into my thread. While I'm here, these would probably go on Buchanan's nicely or soldered splices. I don't like the .70 price. Wonder how much the 3M retails?

Mike M
11-19-2007, 09:00 PM
Okay, these are heat shrink end cap's. The image with the end caps on both sides is the 3m. Now that I think about it, that's a freaking funny hotdog image with no application.

I forget the web address for the other caps, but I'm not supposed to use web adresses anyways. Oh, the retail location was cableorginizerdotcom, but I don't know who makes them.

ChampionLS
11-19-2007, 09:14 PM
Hmmm I could use that to manage the bow lines on my boat. I like em!

Mike M
11-19-2007, 09:51 PM
whut the hell are you talking about

I did have some black rubber shock absorbers for my ropes years ago that looked like that hotdog thing. Is that what you mean?

:drinkup:

Pro-Scapes
11-20-2007, 12:35 AM
i dont like the end cap idea. Especially with mutiple wires in there. Maybe with a single wire and capping it off or better yet for sealing up ropes so they dont fray.

Wishout a positive seal around the insulation of a singlular wire I consider this useless.

ChampionLS
11-20-2007, 03:46 AM
They'd work good with rope, but not for multiple wires. With multiple wires, you don't have a good seal between the cables.

Mike M
11-20-2007, 08:25 AM
With multiple wires, you don't have a good seal between the cables.

I know it would seem that way, but that's how the heat shrink around the ACE connectors works. Plus, I'm just looking for a seal around a splice already covered with a crimp or solder.

NightScenes
11-20-2007, 08:44 AM
With multiple wires, you don't have a good seal between the cables.

I know it would seem that way, but that's how the heat shrink around the ACE connectors works. Plus, I'm just looking for a seal around a splice already covered with a crimp or solder.

If you stick the crimp or other connection into a DBR your covered. I don't get what your trying to do here. Am I missing something?

Mike M
11-20-2007, 09:09 AM
If you stick the crimp or other connection into a DBR your covered. I don't get what your trying to do here. Am I missing something?

Paul, I'm obsessing too much, no doubt. Since the grease is soft and the strain relief seems week on the tubes I use, the splice can easily be pulled out of the grease. I just want to ensure no corrosion occurs where the insulation on the wire stops.

NightScenes
11-20-2007, 09:14 AM
Use a better grease tube! I'll get you the # for the ones that I use. They have a great strain relief and they fit TIGHT! Your going to spend half of your install time just making connections at this rate. Relax Mike!

Mike M
11-20-2007, 09:22 AM
I'll get you the # for the ones that I use

Thanks, Paul!

Pro-Scapes
11-20-2007, 09:44 AM
If you stick the crimp or other connection into a DBR your covered. I don't get what your trying to do here. Am I missing something?

Mikes just feeding his OCD paul thats it lol... Just kidding mike. I think its overkill and will prove to be worthless.

If your making your connections right the area where the insulation stops should be covered anyways no matter if your using DBSR tubes or drycons or ace connectors. If not your going to have a severe wicking and corrosion issue that close to the beach.

NightScenes
11-20-2007, 10:27 AM
I use the 3M 7B21B2 DBRs. Their about 3" long with about 2" of grease in them.

Mike M
11-20-2007, 10:31 AM
I saw those at lowes. Do you get those from your distributor or from another supplier? I need to try them out.

Dreams To Designs
11-20-2007, 11:21 AM
Paul, would it be possible for you to list the components you use for the splices with all the part numbers and your sources.

One of my installers is out on a job today with wire nut connection issues. I think it is time to take the step to the Buchanan crimps.

Kirk

Mike M
11-23-2007, 04:26 PM
Brass barrel lugs w/lithium grease, as supplied with Unique hubs...

I have a box of these without the grease. I use them for connecting my demo wires.

Just wondering if anyone here has used them as recommended by Unique, and whether or not you place them in grease tubes for extra protection.

You can get some good leverage when using the plastic yellow installation tool, but I still think these would be much better using allen wrenches instead of screw drivers, like the ace connectors.

Mike

NightScenes
11-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Oopps I missed this thread somewhat. I get the copper crimps from the HD. They have the small and large crimps at a price that is way better than I can get from my electrical supply house. The Buchanan c-24 crimp tool can be ordered. I have already given the DBR information and I get those from my distributor (Longhorn irrigation supply) but they can be had at your local irrigation house, I'm sure.

I do leave a #12 pig tail coming out of the connection to check voltage or allow for the addition of another fixture.

Mike M
11-23-2007, 05:46 PM
Paul are these the ones? They have a lock inside to hold the twist-ons. They come with the 3M twist-ons.

They look deeper and more snug than the orange tubes.

Do the locks help by holding your copper crimp?

NightScenes
11-23-2007, 06:36 PM
Yes, I use the ones with the red nuts (do not use those nuts, they suck!). The DBR cap locks down and works as a great strain relief. The cap will not pull out of the grease.

Mike M
11-23-2007, 08:18 PM
Pretty cool, Paul. Also, people soldering could still use the cap after they solder to help hold the splice in the tube, since they have the built-in lock in addition to the strain relief.

ChampionLS
11-24-2007, 05:33 AM
You guys shouldn't be using grease (Oil based). Grease will soften your cable insulation over time, and grease does not actually prevent or stop corrosion. I would use NYK Anti-Corrosive Compound. We use it, It's available commercially, and this is the same product HADCO/Genlye offers.

NightScenes
11-24-2007, 10:18 AM
If you have no air and no moisture, you should not have any corrosion.

Pro-Scapes
11-24-2007, 10:49 AM
Rememeber Paul, Anthony is using pierce point connectors from hadco. I would be using everything i could find to prevent corrosion if I was using pierce points

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-24-2007, 11:24 AM
Rememeber Paul, Anthony is using pierce point connectors from hadco. I would be using everything i could find to prevent corrosion if I was using pierce points

Is this true? Anthony? Are you really using pierce point connectors?? :dizzy:
I cannot imagine that you would be, I mean really, as a 'professional' contractor you are not doing your clients or your business or the industry any favours by using those things!

The fact that Hadco and Kichler include such lame connection components with their fixutres tells me quite a bit about their intended use.... These are the same manufactures that have worked long and hard to make their products ubiquitous in the retail marketplace... meaning the DIY marketplace.

Pierce point connectors have no place in a professionally installed lighting system.

Chris J
11-24-2007, 09:42 PM
Yep, he uses the pierce point connectors and he's going to fight you for hours claiming that Hadco's is a superior connector. Joe, over at LowVoltdotorg will claim the same thing claiming years of trial and error that proves his methods.
I am a bit concerned, however, that you keep calling out Kichler and others as less than what you use. I've been in this business for quite some time, and I really don't think that Nightscapes is all that you claim it to be. I service hundreds of "other" systems every year, and every time I come across a Nightscaping installation it has gone to hell in a hand-basket. I know that there are now newer products, and that there might be some room for installer error, but I really wouldn't consider using Nightscaping materials simply based on what I have seen. Please don't take this post as a direct attack on you because I understand that you do good work (you have told us this many times, and I believe). I just simply go by first hand knowledge, and Nightscapes is not for me.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-24-2007, 10:01 PM
No worries Chris... Nightscaping is not for everyone and believe it or not, I don't use their products exclusively. They make some pretty fine products and they make some dogs too. As for my business, I really try to only pick the cream of the crop from a wide variety of manufactures.

Nightscaping, Hunza, CAST, Vista, Vision3, Lumascape, Lumiere, BK, Intense!, they all make a few awesome fixtures that I rely on. The day that one manufacturer can make the best fixture in every category is the day that one manufacturer will get 100% loyalty from me. I sense this will never happen.

Mike M
11-25-2007, 09:53 AM
Nightscaping, Hunza, CAST, Vista, Vision3, Lumascape, Lumiere, BK, Intense!,

James, you cover a lot of distances doing installs, how are you providing service with so many specialty products? I keep hearing that eclecticism is good for artistry in lighting, but don't you and your customers pay quite a premium for that? And did you ever hear someone say "nice scene, too bad they limited themselves to just Unique (or Cast, etc.)."

I am just getting started in the business, but I am looking for the manufacturers that have a consistent philosophy that matches my own, and I expect them to care about the continuity of field performance and quality in everything they make, and not just in a few novel gadgets.

Could you imagine if the property owners had one lighting designer to do the trees, another to do architectural accents, another to do deck lights, etc? How would the whole scene look in the end? How would the service go?

I don't mean to be out of line, like I said, I'm just starting in this business, these are the questions I'm asking myself as I read through the debates, listen to the pro's, and do my homework.

Mike

NightScenes
11-25-2007, 10:07 AM
Yep, he uses the pierce point connectors and he's going to fight you for hours claiming that Hadco's is a superior connector. Joe, over at LowVoltdotorg will claim the same thing claiming years of trial and error that proves his methods.
I am a bit concerned, however, that you keep calling out Kichler and others as less than what you use. I've been in this business for quite some time, and I really don't think that Nightscapes is all that you claim it to be. I service hundreds of "other" systems every year, and every time I come across a Nightscaping installation it has gone to hell in a hand-basket. I know that there are now newer products, and that there might be some room for installer error, but I really wouldn't consider using Nightscaping materials simply based on what I have seen. Please don't take this post as a direct attack on you because I understand that you do good work (you have told us this many times, and I believe). I just simply go by first hand knowledge, and Nightscapes is not for me.

I may really have to consider changing my name!

NightScenes
11-25-2007, 10:20 AM
Nightscaping, Hunza, CAST, Vista, Vision3, Lumascape, Lumiere, BK, Intense!,

James, you cover a lot of distances doing installs, how are you providing service with so many specialty products? I keep hearing that eclecticism is good for artistry in lighting, but don't you and your customers pay quite a premium for that? And did you ever hear someone say "nice scene, too bad they limited themselves to just Unique (or Cast, etc.)."

I am just getting started in the business, but I am looking for the manufacturers that have a consistent philosophy that matches my own, and I expect them to care about the continuity of field performance and quality in everything they make, and not just in a few novel gadgets.

Could you imagine if the property owners had one lighting designer to do the trees, another to do architectural accents, another to do deck lights, etc? How would the whole scene look in the end? How would the service go?

I don't mean to be out of line, like I said, I'm just starting in this business, these are the questions I'm asking myself as I read through the debates, listen to the pro's, and do my homework.

Mike

Mike, have you ever seen an artist that only uses wide brushes because their easy to maintain. There is not one single manufacture that makes every fixture that might be needed on a project. Sometimes you need a good wash light. I would have to say that CAST is a very good product but their wash light is worthless. On the same note, Kichler makes a great bullet light but their well light sucks (and I use a LOT of Kichler but I use the Vista well lights). .

You can't just use a BAB in every bullet light and expect it to look good either. Sometimes you need a 10 watt 32 degree lamp and other times you may need a 50 watt 60 degree lamp (not often in either case). I mostly use 20 and 35 watt lamps and beam spreads between 12 and 60 degrees.

If you are going to pigeon hole yourself into ONLY using a few fixtures from one manufacture and then only a couple of lamps, you will be a lighting installer and not a lighting designer. You will be painting with only a couple of brushes and paint colors instead of the whole array of brushes and rainbow of colors.

This is only my opinion on the subject, which is a good one by-the-way.

Mike M
11-25-2007, 12:46 PM
If you are going to pigeon hole yourself into ONLY using a few fixtures from one manufacture and then only a couple of lamps, you will be a lighting installer and not a lighting designer. You will be painting with only a couple of brushes and paint colors instead of the whole array of brushes and rainbow of colors.

Okay, your are also responding to a challenge I made on another website, which I'll agree had more value as a hypothetical puzzle than a realistic application: One distributor, one manu, one fixture, one bulb, etc.

But, you can see the business sense with keeping it simple and not too ecclectic. It's also an aesthetic style to tighten up themes with unified textures and techniques.

It's the amateur fly-fisherman who tries to compensate for inexperience by using exact detailed matches of every possible species, while the old-timers have a few basic general patterns they just present differently.

I had a teacher who once told us the perfect example of something ecclectic is the contents of a trash can. Now that's extreme, and so is my idea of one lamp (ha), but I am interested in a clearly defined philosophy and standard, and finding a few manu's that echo these values with everything they make. And if I can keep the materials simple and "present" them creatively, installations and service will be more economical.

And, I'm sure there are many things to value in making a loyal commitment to a limited number of manufacturers. Improved communication both ways, marketing support, bulk discounts, samples of innovative items, and keeping the factory working so the good stuff doesn't go out of business.

How did this get in the splice thread?

NightScenes
11-25-2007, 01:18 PM
Yeah, how did this get into the splice thread? Anyway, I do see your point Mike, I'm just looking at it from a different angle. I'm not disagreeing, just making another point from the other side of the coin.

Mike M
11-25-2007, 01:29 PM
Okay, now, where I can I get those 3M DBR's? I don't see them at any distributor.

Pro-Scapes
11-25-2007, 02:42 PM
Okay, now, where I can I get those 3M DBR's? I don't see them at any distributor.

check your local irrigation supplier